Saturday 16 August 2014

The Divination Deck project

It's time to introduce you to my latest project! I've been working on this since the beginning of the year, and I reckon it will take a couple of years to finish.
It is a 'divination deck' - a set of cards for helping to show you the way.
 I've never been particularly fond of Tarot cards. They spooked me a little when I was a child, and I still feel uneasy around them. However, these cards are NOT a tarot deck.

Early this year, while meditating and communing with the muse, this deck was laid out very clearly in my mind's eye. The 3 types of cards, the names of each, and the plant or animal connected to each of the higher cards. I scribbled copious notes and symbols in my sketchbook, while it was still fresh in my mind, and then sat back and thought about it all.

The 2 sets of 'higher 'cards are calendrical. One set of 13 are called 'The Lunar Cards' and they represent the 13 full moons of the year. The other set of 8 are called 'The Wheel Cards' and they represent the wheel of the year, the Celtic festivals and cross quarter days.

It immediately became apparent that I would need to paint each of these images at the correct time, to actually capture the energy and sense of the exact point in the year. This has put the pressure on! Some of the wheel cards are pretty large and complex, and I'm not used to working with such tight time constraints. It's been exhausting at times, but very satisfying.

What has been really interesting is how the meaning of the card has developed as I paint it. I know exactly how the image should look,and usually have a very broad sense of the meaning when I begin, but often it has crystallised into a very specific meaning ( sometimes depending on context) by the time I have finished.

It's endlessly fascinating, as if each card has a life of its own!



The beltane painting was very complex and intricate, and took days to finish!



So, there you are. It's a work in progress, and although I'm pleased to show you the images, I'm reluctant to give away too much detail about the meanings of the cards, and the workings of the pack, as I hope to find a way to publish it once completed.

The downside of this project is that it has left me very little time to create anything else - much less new work to sell, which has been a bit tricky financially. I'm trusting that it will be worth it in the end ;)

However, I do have a few outings to sell my wares over the next few weeks. The first is at Chagford Show, on Thursday 21st August.

Then I head for  Rivenstone festival which I am SO excited about. It's promising to be a wonder-filled weekend, and I'm treating myself to a workshop too, as my 40th birthday present!
I think there are still a few spaces left if you want one :)

And finally, I shall be taking part in Devon Open Studios in September.

Do come and find me to say 'Hello' if you are at any of these events.


Terra said...

These cards are beautiful, and I especially like the smaller details like the insects and birds, etc.

Bovey Belle said...

What stunning portrayals you have made. Just amazing and with such energy and connectivity in them. WOW! I am looking forward to seeing this all develop. I wish I had a fragment of your imagination : )

Danielle Barlow said...

Thankyou Terra and BB :0

And also Thankyou to Kath, Fuzz, Arden and Linda, for your lovely kind comments, which I tried to publish and accidentally clicked delete instead of publish :(

Amanda said...

Gosh they are beautiful Danielle! Do the two set work together? I only ask as I don't like Tarot either but I also don't like human images. The first set are stunning. I can't wait to see where this goes.

Danielle Barlow said...

Aaah, Amanda, they will all work together. There will only be 8 images with people in them though - the Wheel Cards (they each represent a god/goddess or an aspect of one). The 13 lunar cards and the 26 Earth cards will only feature plants and animals :)

Gail H. Ragsdale said...

Absolutely love what you have shown! The Beltane card is stunning! I'll be standing in line when you get them published.

Freyalyn said...

I'm so looking forward to this set of cards being finished; I shall be very disappointed if they're not going to be available in some form. (We're coming down to Somerset for the first week in SEptember, and are planning a day on Dartmoor. We'll miss your open studio though, I think.)

MorningAJ said...

They're lovely.

I'm not sure why you have a problem with tarot cards though. I think they're just divination cards by a different name. The very word 'tarot' seems to upset some people and I've never really understood why. (I'm not being nosy. Just expressing an opinion. :) )

Danielle Barlow said...

Thankyou all :)
Freyalyn - do give me a shout when you're down if you have time! Would love to meet up for dog walk and cuppa x
MorningAJ - I'm not sure I'd call it a problem ;)I've seen some absolutely beautiful decks and have many friends who read them well. But they don't call to me :)

Natasha Hadleigh said...

These are staggeringly beautiful. I look forward to the rest.

Amy said...

Do please keep us readers posted on the deck and it's availability! I shall be first in line to purchase a published set. All the best to you as you finish the project and thank you for the sneak peak!


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